When nine-year-old Jana Klingseis began taking ice skating lessons at the local Iceoplex rink in Escondido, Calif., she never dreamed she would one day be a member of one of the most popular touring ice skating shows, let alone a Disney princess. Yet 11 years later, she is skating across the country as a Disney princess in the "Disney on Ice Presents: Dare to Dream" ice skating show.
Klingseis did not always plan to be a performing skater. As a child, she was homeschooled. So her parents signed her up for ice skating classes as her physical education requirement. Skating soon became more than a PE class. She was a regional competitor and a U.S. Figure Skating gold medalist in the "Moves and Freeskate."
After her competition days, Klingseis became a junior coach for aspiring young ice skaters at the same Iceoplex rink where she learned to compete. She admits she still loves teaching and hopes to go back to it when she finishes her touring.
A Princess' Life on the Road
Being on the road with "Disney on Ice Presents: Dare to Dream" leaves little down time. Klingseis said she lives out of two suitcases and depends primarily on staircases and dance routines to stay fit while on the road. But Klingseis does manage to spend some time enjoying the area, taking photos and visiting local attractions.
There's No Place Like Home
After travelling the world and being a princess, the best part of Klingseis' life remains her family. She calls her mom her role model, and recalls a cross-country road trip she took with her mother as her favorite memory. And even with her Olympic gold medals, Klingseis' most prized possession remains her family and her cats.
The Life of a Performer
Klingseis loves expressing herself while entertaining people. She strives to bring joy to every child when they watch her perform. She admits it's hard work, but she's not afraid of a challenge.
When young girls ask her how they can be a successful skater, she always replies the same way: Put your "all" into the skating, and compete and follow your dreams.
"Skating takes a lot of practice, focus and determination," said Klingseis. "If you really want something, you've got to work at it."
What the Future Holds
When she finishes her tour of skating, Klingseis plans to attend culinary school, as she loves to cook international dishes. In fact, Klingseis says one of her favorite past-times is to invent recipes to make in her hot pot -- the item she cannot live without while on the road.